School Climate & Safety

‘Active Shooter’ Drill Takes Teachers by Surprise at Ore. School

By Anthony Rebora — May 01, 2013 1 min read
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Just when you thought the post Sandy Hook era in schools couldn’t get any weirder or scarier: According to the Oregonian, a charter school in rural Oregon staged an “active shooter” drill during an in-service day last week—except that they didn’t tell the teachers it was only a drill. According to the report, two gunmen burst into “a meeting room full of teachers and opened fire.”

“There was some commotion,” said Cammie DeCastro, principal of Pine Eagle Charter School in Halfway, Ore. We’re guessing that’s a bit of an understatment.

The teachers learned that the attack was staged, the Oregonian reports, only when they realized “the bullets were not drawing blood.” Fun.

The idea behind the drill was to test the teachers on training they’d recently received from the local sheriff’s office on “active shooter scenarios.” Apparently the results weren’t so hot: According to one teacher who was there, only two of the 15 teachers present would have survived if the attack were real.

“I’ll tell you, the whole situation was horrible,” she said. “I got a couple of [blanks] in the front and a couple in the back.”

DeCastro defended the drill as an essential part of the remotely located school’s preparedness planning. “For us not to know how we were going to respond is leaving us open,” she is quoted as saying.

No word yet on whether any of the staff members are experiencing residual heart problems or panic attacks. ...

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.